The only thing cooler than writing about Google Plus right now, is saying how uncool it is to write about Googel plus. You may or may not have heard that Google launched a social network called Google + a couple weeks ago (or Google Plus or G+, I don’t even know the proper name yet). Chances are if you read this blog because you know me from my online life, that you have heard of it. If you read this because you know me personally, you may not have. I’m a lot geekier than most of my offline friends, and most of the off-line businesses I work with are too busy ( or disinterested) to keep up with the latest online trends. And that’s the thing.
If you’re an online social type, then you know the hype that has followed the beta launch Google +. It really has taken off quickly- I’ve heard 10 million users, and that is in the invite only test phase, in only two weeks! That may not be accurate, but that’s irrelevant to my point. The popular online personalities have jumped into this thing with both feet, and seem to love the platform. I’ve been playing in there as well, and I really like it too. Some are calling it a Facebook killer. Chris Brogan has left Facebook for it already (and taken his 75,000 blog subscribers with him). Irrelevant to your business right now.
Some online experts (legit, not the GURU types) have noticed huge traffic spikes already from this 2 week old social network, reporting as high as 25% spikes in traffic from it. Amazing! And irrelevant to your business right now.
You see, you’re not Chris Brogan, or C.C. Chapman, or Amber Naslund. Unless you are, and are actually reading this, then Hi! But you’re not. (and if you don’t know them, you should follow those links because I learn from them everyday). You don’t have a huge online following already and neither does your business. So when you sign up, and post stuff, you’re not going to get a bunch of plus one’s, and throngs of followers aren’t going to follow your links to your blog posts, because you don’t have throngs of followers (and may not have a blog either). Google Plus is not going to drive people to your business right now. Forget what you may have read, it’s not.
What it might do though, is expose you to people and information you can learn from. You may even (heaven forbid) connect with some of these people in a personal way. That may even make you a better business person. So while your business doesn’t belong on Google plus right now, you just may want to jump in.
The most valuable thing I have gotten from participating in social media over the last few years is the personal connections I have made. Social Media has led to new clients, business opportunities, and to some extent, my present job. Not because of my strategic content plan, or tweet frequency, or Facebook marketing strategy, but because I’m in there having real conversations with real people. I am finding new people to learn from every day.
That’s why I think you should experiment there too. It’s a new toy, so the people you may want to get to know, may be more open to connecting with you on Google + than on their already saturated Twitter or Facebook accounts. Maybe it’s because it’s so new, but at least with the people I am following, people seem to be more themselves, less guarded than on other more mature social networks.
So it’s not a business tool yet. Google’s official stance right now is actually not to allow business accounts yet (though there are plenty in there already). But I have found it well designed and very easy to figure out, and a great way to connect with new people. So get in there and start playing the newest bright and shiny online toy! Google seems to have opened up the invite process (at least I still have the invite link available), so if you need one, let me know.
Are you playing in there? Have you even heard of it yet?
If you want to find me on Google plus, I’m over here.